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Social Impact Awards Finalist Kasama Collective Aims to Close the Gender and Equity Gap in Podcasting

Press Release ·

The Kasama Collective, a podcast training program to launch women and non-binary storytellers into careers in audio, has been named a finalist for the 2022 Social Impact Awards.

According to Associate Director at PRNEWS Jessica Dembrowski, a panel of industry experts declared the Kasama Collective “to be bold, innovative, and deserving of industry wide-recognition for helping to usher in a diverse, equitable future.”

The Kasama Collective was founded by the creators of Shelter in Place, an award-winning narrative nonfiction podcast about reimagining life through creativity and community. Over the course of the 16-week program, trainees help create Shelter in Place episodes, and along the way learn scriptwriting, voiceover, interviewing, audio editing, sound design, promotion—and perhaps most importantly, the belief that their story is worth telling.

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“Only one out of three top podcasts are hosted by women, and even fewer by people of color. We want to change that,” said Laura Joyce Davis, who founded the program with her husband and Shelter in Place Creative Director Nate Davis. 53% of Kasama Collective graduates are people of color, 35% identify as LGBTQ+, and 76% got better jobs as a result of being in the program. Graduates have been hired at The New York Times, Stitcher, Earwolf, and Center for an Urban Future.

“I’m consistently the only woman or person of color in the room,” said Samantha Skinner, who was part of the team that created “Hyphenated Identity,” which earned honorable mention at the Golden Crane Awards. “I didn’t realize how much that affected my confidence. Shelter in Place helped me heal some of that. I have never felt so affirmed.”

“I know now what it takes to create a podcast from start to finish, and I’ve already applied this to my new job,” said Elen Tekle, who now works at Headspace. “It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

The team at Shelter in Place recently launched Kasama Labs to offer the Kasama Collective curriculum in a more flexible, self-paced format. Davis describes the course as “a complete toolkit for mastering the art and science of narrative podcasting. It’s the best thing we’ve done yet.” Kasama Labs registration closes February 1.

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